Startups have a great idea that is something that people are genuinely interested in seeing become a reality, but what do you do if this is your first time running a business and you don’t know what to do? Many of the biggest tech companies today; Google, Amazon, Samsung, Nintendo and Apple all started as very small companies with very humble beginnings. You hear the story of a lot of companies having their first headquarters in someones basement, garage or apartment, but they all became wildly successful and that was because they addressed a public need and had a great business mindset. The lesson that all startups today can learn is that they too can be successful and that entrepreneurship is on the rise in the United States. There are however many lessons that a lot of these companies had to learn the hard way and from their experiences you can learn these lessons and have your path to success include less stumbles.
- Cultivate an Audience
Having a great idea is cool and all, but it doesn’t mean squat if you don’t have a general audience or group of people who are already interested in the product or service you want to provide. Even if you have a group of people who are interested in your product or service it usually isn’t enough to keep you afloat if you think about it. You need to have an audience that is either constantly growing or bring a sort of dominance of sorts online. What I mean by that is having several powerful keywords in search engines that will point people to you and have a web presence that your audience can interact with, thus growing the number of people who see you. Creating partnerships with larger companies, if possible, can be advantageous and put your company in front of an even bigger audience. The main thing to draw from this is that even if you have a good idea, it doesn’t mean a whole lot of no one is around to hear it.
- Ideas don’t always Translate well
So the common theme here should be that good ideas aren’t always a golden ticket to success. Good ideas will not always translate to a good product because what you imagine in your head or draw on a scrap piece of paper isn’t always how it will turn out in reality. Some ideas cost a lot of money, look at a search engine, and some ideas are easy to think of but creating them can take months of labor hours. This is where planning things out extensively and knowing exactly what you wants comes in handy because research is a startups best friend. As the old saying goes, knowledge is power and the more you know before you go in the better the project will go. A good analogy is to think of a house, you wouldn’t build a house without a very detailed blueprint with everything measured out and accounted for right? So you should never get your startup idea rolling without having all the information possible to be successful.
- Focus on the MVP
Too often we will see startups and companies in general focus on having a totally completed product with all the bells and whistles ready without focusing on the minimum viable product. The MVP is what the goal should be when you first get your idea rolling. You should have planned things extensively and should break your project into multiple stages if it is something big or complicated. When you’re “feature happy” you tend to lose focus on what the core of your product is supposed to be. It’s ok to want to add these features, but plan on pushing all the unnecessary features into the next phase. Usually this is beneficial because at this point you should start seeing some return on your project and have even more time to refine your vision and hone in on what features are viable and important.
- You WILL Fail
So take this with grain of salt, but you will fail. How much each startup fails is dependent on the environment that they are in and how much planning goes into the project. Now to be realistic, some startups will fail no matter how prepared they where and how well their planning went, what separates you from other people though is that you are willing to risk failure to pick yourself up again. Failure is the catalyst for getting better and in most cases is the best experience for new entrepreneurs. Now some people won’t have to deal with this kind of failure, and that is great too! Success shouldn’t be viewed as a bad thing. This is just something that all startups should accept from the get go because it is a business risk that every entrepreneur has had to go through before them.
Don’t be afraid to hand your project or idea over to someone else. If you’re building a website for example and you don’t have a lot or any experience working with code, take your idea to a service bureau that specializes in building websites… cough cough. If you’re confident in your idea and willing to collaborate with talented people that can bring your vision to life then absolutely do that! Outsourcing to an expert early can end up saving you money in the long run and keep your idea out there longer without having to revise it or make any drastic changes.
I hope these bits of advice give you a better idea of what it really means to be a successful business and how to handle the types of problems and situations that you will run into as a startup. It can be a very fun experience and very rewarding as well. If you have an idea and want to work with us, then please get in contact with us and we will bring your idea to life!